Captains drop fourth in a row
MIDLAND, MI- The Great Lakes Loons (2-3) scored two runs in the seventh inning to drop Lake County (1-4) to their fourth consecutive loss by a final score of 5-4 after winning on Opening Day.
Both pitchers faced the minimum through three innings, with Martinez working around two Lake County singles to keep the game scoreless.
Lake County put a three spot on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning. Centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez singled to center field to lead off the inning. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino reached with his second single of the day, moving Rodriguez to second. Designated hitter Eric Haase drove in Rodriguez with a RBI single to left field, Paulino advanced to third on the base hit. Martinez uncorked a wild pitch with second baseman Joe Sever at the plate, allowing Paulino to score and Haase moved all the way to third. Haase came home on a RBI single to right field by Sever, giving Sever his first RBI of the year.
Third baseman Erik Gonzalez opened the fifth inning with a double to left field. A fly ball moved Gonzalez to third base with no outs. Martinez threw his second wild pitch of the game, bringing home Gonzalez and the Captains led 4-0 halfway through the game.
Great Lakes tied the ballgame at four in the bottom half of the fifth inning. First baseman Paul Hoenecke doubled to left field to open the frame. Centerfielder James Baldwin walked and then third baseman Bladimir Franco was hit by a Baker offering two batters later. Left fielder Malcolm Holland reached on a bunt ground ball on the third base side of the diamond, Hoenecke scored to make it a 4-1 game. Right fielder Jeremy Rathjen cleared the bases with a double to left field, plating Baldwin, Franco and Holland to score for Rathjen’s first three RBI’s of the young season.
Left-handed reliever Miguel Sulbaran (1-0, 3.38 ERA) came into the game in the sixth inning, ending Martinez’s night. Martinez allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
The Captains regained a 5-4 lead on a fielder’s choice in the sixth. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez doubled with one out and advanced to third on a single by Sever. Catcher Martin Cervenka grounded into a force out at second base, bringing home N. Rodriguez.
Josh Martin (0-1, 9.00 ERA) relieved Baker to open the sixth inning. Baker’s debut lasted five innings, surrendering four runs on three hits. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out seven.
Great Lakes plated the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Catcher Jose Capellan tripled to left field to lead off the inning. A fielding error by Paulino put Franco on first with no outs. Holland drove in his second run of the night with a groundout to first base, scoring Capellan from third. Following a strikeout, second baseman Alexis Aguilar singled home Franco for the winning run.
Lake County put the tying run on base in the eighth after Haase doubled. Sulbaran struck out two straight batters before giving way to righty Scott Griggs. Griggs struck out Cervenka to end the threat.
Sulbaran picked up the win allowing one run on four hits in 2.2 innings. He got six of his eight outs via the strikeout.
Francisco Valera came on to pitch the eighth inning and allowed one hit, a double, but struck out two to squander the opportunity.
Martin took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits in two innings of relief work. He ended the night with four strikeouts.
Griggs picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless outing of 1.1 innings.
Sever, Haase and Paulino all led the Captains with two hits apiece as the Captains outhit the Loons 11-7.
The Captains and Loons will resume their three game series on Tuesday night. Lake County will send RHP Luis Dejesus (0-0, 6.75) to the mound to face RHP Zachary Bird (0-0, 0.00) for the Loons. First pitch will be at 6:05 PM from Dow Diamond.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.
The Captains are going to go through the growing pains of Paulino and Rodriguez being developed before their eyes at SS and 1B. Also, with some young inexperienced pitchers. But that's what makes it exciting is seeing how these young players that are struggling now find a way to get better and continue to progress and become more comfortable over the course of the season.